A growing expedition fleet needs advanced life saving equipment that meets Polar Code standards, according to Alex Letzner, Cruise Sales Director, Palfinger Marine, a leading supplier of equipment.
“That means low temperatures,” he said. “The principle is to protect the equipment itself and maintain it as operational in a low temperature environment, regardless of how cold it is.”
The company has special lifeboats, personal protection equipment and other necessary items for polar environments. Davits made of special steel can work in temperatures down to negative 40 degrees Celsius, Letzner noted.
Special lifeboats are also plugged-in, so to speak, meaning engines are pre-heated as are battery systems. The boats have also been heavily modified, designed for passengers to live in them in an emergency scenario for up to 10 days. That means additional toilet systems and means to make drinking water, Letzner said.
Taking an existing non-expedition ship and updating it to meet Polar Code standards is a tough task, Letzner continued. New rules mean new equipment and new standards, meaning more weight on top of older vessels that have slim stability margins.
Supplying a number of new vessels, Palfinger equipment can be found on the recently delivered Hanseatic Nature, and will be on the new Hurtigruten ships as well as the new expedition vessels from Crystal.